|Populated States||Andhra Pradesh|
Etymology and claims of Kshatriya status
The Raju caste, which A. Satyanarayana calls the "locally dominant landed gentry", claims Kshatriya status in the varna system despite there being "no real Kshatriya varna" in the Andhra region.[a] They also claim descent from the ancient royal dynasties of India such as the Eastern Chalukyas, Chalukya-Cholas, Vishnukundina, Gajapati, Chagi, Paricheda and Kota Vamsa.
...most often used by members of noble or princely lineages. [But it] could also designate an individual employed by a lord or prince.
But not all rajus were of noble family, for approximately one-third of the people with this status name were of humbler ancestry and possessed administrative titles such as pradhdni (minister), mantri (minister), and karnam (accountant). Raju may therefore designate a person (sometimes said to be brahmin) employed by a lord in a ministerial capacity, as well as a prince or lord, and perhaps referred to that group of brahmins, today called niyogi in Andhra, who engage in secular occupations as opposed to vaidiki or Vedic brahmins.
The royal usage at that time was particularly prevalent in the northern coastal areas of the region. Talbot also notes that the title, and others in use at that time, do not align with the Vedic four-fold varna system and in that sense could not refer to a caste. However, they do appear to have conformed to
...the existence of broad social categories based primarily on occupation. Although [the title] did not necessarily designate a distinct class, much less a bounded community, or a hereditary grouping, various sets of these titles differentiated social types marked by a common status and shared occupation.
Temple inscriptions from the period of the Kakatiya dynasty, a South Indian dynasty that flourished between 1175-1324 CE in the Telugu-speaking lands now in Andhra Pradesh, refer both to royal and clerical rajus as donors, together with peasant leaders called reddies.
...important communities with considerable political significance in the State, although in numerical terms they constitute only a small percentage of the population and spatially are confined only to small pockets.
- The anthropologist Minna Säävälä glossarises the present-day Rajus as a "higher caste of traditional warriors and rulers; Kshatriya", but does not provide an explanation or source for this description.
- Thurston 1909, p. 247-249.
- Satyanarayana, A. (2002). "Growth of Education among the Dalit-Bahujan Communities in Modern Andhra, 1893-1947". In Bhattacharya, Sabyasachi. Education and the Disprivileged: Nineteenth and Twentieth Century India. Orient Blackswan. p. 53. ISBN 978-81-250-2192-6. Retrieved 2012-02-29.
- Säävälä, Minna (2001). Fertility and familial power relations: procreation in south India. Psychology Press. p. xvi. ISBN 978-0-7007-1484-1. Retrieved 4 March 2014.
- Krishnarao, B.V (1942). A History of the Early Dynasties of Andhradesa. V. Ramaswami Sastrulu. p. 258.
- Talbot, Austin Cynthia (2001). Precolonial India in practice: Society, Region and Identity in Medieval Andhra. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 57–58. ISBN 978-0-19-513661-6. Retrieved 2012-02-29.
- Randhawa 1961.
- Talbot 1991.
- Talbot, Austin Cynthia (2001). Precolonial India in practice: Society, Region and Identity in Medieval Andhra. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 61. ISBN 978-0-19-513661-6. Retrieved 2012-02-29.
- Talbot, Austin Cynthia (2001). Precolonial India in practice: Society, Region and Identity in Medieval Andhra. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 17, 112. ISBN 978-0-19-513661-6. Retrieved 2014-03-4.
- Srinivasulu, K. (September 2002). "Caste, Class and Social Articulation In Andhra Pradesh. Mapping Differential Regional Tragectories". London: Overseas Development Institute. p. 3. ISBN 0-85003-612-7. Retrieved 2012-02-29.
- Suri, K. C. (September 2002). "Democratic Process and Electoral Politics in Andhra Pradesh, India". London: Overseas Development Institute. p. 10. ISBN 0-85003-613-5. Retrieved 2012-02-29.
- N. Suman Bhat (2005), Saints of the masses, Sura Books, p.82
- Randhawa, M. S. (1961), Farmers of India: Madras, Andhra Pradesh, Mysore & Kerala
- Talbot, Cynthia (1991), "Temples, Donors, and Gifts: Patterns of Patronage in Thirteenth-Century South India", Vol. 50, No. 2 (May, 1991), pp. 308-340
- Thurston, Edgar (1909), Castes and Tribes of Southern India Volume VI - P to S